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You've heard your lawyer goes into court for a compliance conference on your case. Want to learn exactly what that means?

When you bring a lawsuit, we are required to appear in court periodically to let the judge know about the progress of your lawsuit.

During a compliance conference, the attorneys must appear in court and advise the judge whether your case is on schedule or whether there are delays.

If there are delays, the court wants to know why.

If there are items that have not been turned over that are required to be released to the other side, the court wants to know what's taking so long and why haven't they been provided.

Likewise, we are obligated to provide permission slips, also known as authorizations to the defense in order to allow them to obtain your records.

DISPUTES

Sometimes there are disputes about whether or not to provide authorizations that are requested. They may apply to medical care and treatment you received long ago in the past. Those may have nothing to do with the events currently.

In those instances, the court may be required to rule on whether or not those documents are required to be turned over.

In addition, the court also wants to know whether depositions have been held at are completed on time.

TIMING OF YOUR CASE

At the very first court conference, known as a preliminary conference, the court sets down a schedule and assigns a time track to your case. Depending upon the complexity of the case it is assigned either 12 months to complete discovery, 18 months or something else within the court guidelines. Lawsuits involving many defendants will obviously take longer than a one-on-one lawsuit. Medical malpractice cases are typically assigned an 18 month discovery window here in the state of New York.

After all the lawyers have advised the court of the progress of your case, the court clerk will typically assign a new conference date to return back to court a few months later. At that point all parties have a clear idea of what needs to happen on your case in order to move it to the next stage.

That's the essence of what occurs during a compliance conference in the New York court state system.